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Letters, Age of Blood

Discussion in 'Writing' started by The Man In Black, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    Combining these into one post, as they represent approximately the same thing. These are additional accounts of happenings around the Age of Blood. We wrote these to give different races' view points of the events The lore rewrite/expansion is attempting to move away from omniscient viewpoints of apostles/loreldians, one reason being that such a story likely wouldn't exist in written form. This also means that there are conflicting "facts", either because the story was passed on incorrectly or speculations were added to stories and treated as fact.

    I'm also working on getting these ingame, but thought they're worth reading in the meantime. Posting Thothie's for him 'cause he has enough on his plate.

    Letter to the Magistrate, by Thothie
    My dear Magistrate Tal'san,

    Our long distance correspondence between man and elf is unusual as it is, but your latest query is particularly so. From what I understand of Eswen politics, it's the sort of line of inquiry that could get you imprisoned by the Shields or slain by the Seekers. I'll nonetheless fulfill the request, but I do suggest you burn the letter after reading it for your own safety, and if the seal arrives broken, perhaps it is time to leave the city, for I do not believe even your position would protect you. Though, given the recent attempt on your life, I do see why you would wish to ask.

    Trepidation aside, here, as requested, is The Age of Blood and Lor Malgoriand, from the human perspective.

    As you know, we're not so long lived as your people, so there are few firsthand human accounts of this tumultuous time. The few that do exist come from the remaining Apostle, various mages who have extended their lives artificially, and, of course, the king, but such perspectives are, somewhat alien, to the average citizen of the kingdom. However, my great grandfather, Eckerd Alandon, though a child during the events, often regaled us with stories of heroic deeds and the host of tragedies that befell those around him. Many such stories exist in texts throughout the libraries and booksellers of Deralia, some more fanciful than others. I suppose, because we are so short lived, and so often see our kingdoms rise and fall, our historians are prolific and our press keepers well employed. While Elven books are rare and valued, human writings are so numerous that no bandit would rob you of one. Nonetheless, I'll try to stay true to those accounts of his, for I never trusted a man more, may he rest in the golden halls of Torkalath.

    For us, Lor Malgoriand, or as we called him in the early days of the judgment (to this day we tend to call it a "judgment", rather than a war), Jiro, was not the dark monster that the Elven name he was granted suggests - at least, not at first. His initial actions were against the Melenion Empire (even if he had to raze Winanadoa to reach it). The empire had enslaved and repressed humans for so long, and, only just before these events, had threatened outright extinction of our kind, when your mother goddess struck down your then king outside the walls of Selan to prevent it. Indeed, at first, many humans sought to join the dark one's armies. My grandfather tells stories of small militias riding out to meet with them, only to be struck with horror, when they realized the elves had been telling no tainted tales of him, for his army did indeed consist of a combination of the dead, orcs, goblins, and various other monstrosities, ready to slaughter human and elf alike (as well as dwarf, when the opportunity arose). From time to time, a few terrified blood-covered survivors of such failed expeditions would return to the towns and city to warn others not to attempt it.

    Even then, most of humanity saw him and his army, not as an evil scourge without reason, but as a punishment for failing our god so miserably for so long. Even Kurgoth's sacrifice had not stirred us in sufficient numbers to rise up against Melenion's tyranny. We knew we had been cowards, for centuries, and to many, perhaps even to most, this seemed like Torkalath's judgment and gift. That he would release us from our chains, but simultaneously cull the pitiful from our ranks, was at once a mercy, and a fate we deserved.

    Jiro himself was but a young farmer in his origins, and thus not well known, but those few who knew of him told of his unyielding devotion to our father god, and the price he paid for it, in brutal detail. So, in the early days, tales of this young man's woe, and how horribly wronged he was for being in the right, rang out from every pulpit in the kingdom. The revelation of what he had done to his brother did not come until much later.

    Then came the sinking of Adel. An Elven city, yes, but one of human manufacture and origin. A city where the human slaves outnumbered the elves more than three to one, all of which were drowned together with their masters, without discrimination. This, in itself, was not sufficient to calm the cries of priests exclaiming that we should be joyous that the judgment and release we had been waiting for had finally come, but it was enough to silence the king, and cause some of the nobler lords to raise armies against Lor Malgoriand's rampage, with no protest from the aged patriarch.

    When the terror of the new generals came to replace the fallen Green Knight: the towering Atholo and the skeletal serpent beast that was Undamael, coupled with the scorn of the ever growing number of refugees from Winanadoa and the various villages those generals had razed, even the priests became quieter. When Lor Malgoriand subdued the dragon Rhudeanlorat, and the beast began to massacre humans by the thousands, even at outposts in places so remote that elvenkind had yet dare tread (however much they may have tried to stop us from doing so), the populous began to violently turn on the priesthood who dared still defend him. There remained a few Lords who still praised him as a messiah, though perhaps more out of greed than piety. By this time, Lor Malgoriand's initial mindless slaughter had cooled into more subtle methods, and he had indeed recruited humans into his army, including the outlaying fiefdoms of Lord Garonhroth and his brother Calrian, granting them both power and immortality, in exchange for their flesh and armies. For the most part, however, both noble and peasant saw the dark one for what he was. Few called him Jiro in public, instead using the elvish epithet or various translations of it. When King Erlan finally died, the newly crowned prince Holdun proclaimed all out war on Lor Malgoriand's armies, referring to the nemesis by that name. He sent the Selan's armies forth, as well as engineers to provide support to the monumental effort that was the great wall in the north. There, elf, man, and dwarf had united against the dark one and his armies, driving the bulk of them into The Bleak.

    This, of course, did eventually lead to the fall of the kingdom, and the end of the Selan dynasty that had lasted nearly six centuries.

    It's difficult to find the exact point in time in which Jiro stopped being thought of as the savior of mankind and instead as its greatest enemy. Indeed, to this day, there are, in hushed corners of the darker bars and alleys, whispers suggesting he never made that transition. Whispers that he was in the right from beginning to end - though these are largely from the lips of contrarian thugs that never experienced the horror of Lor Malgoriand, or simply refuse to believe the history of it, likely so blasphemous as to doubt the word of the Apostles themselves (though I suppose most are not old enough to have ever heard one speak, given their half-century absence).

    For those alive at the time of the Judgment, however, as my old Eckerd described it, the fall of Selan ended all doubts as to the righteousness of their cause against the bringer of shadows. It was man's greatest victory in the war, as well as our greatest defeat. Castle Xarath was burned to the ground, the entire royal family was slain, and most of the city of Selan destroyed; no quarter given, no surrender accepted. Yet the Circle of Five had succeeded in their plan to banish Lor Malgoriand's general Undamael, who lead the assault, eventually sealing both the monster and themselves forever, beneath that distant dark forest. When that beast fled, the remains of his armies, in their disarray, were easily dispatched by the reinforcements arriving from Deralia and Edana under the flag of Ardelleron (later to be known as King Ardelleron, long may he live).

    Shortly after Undamael's defeat, the truth was revealed to us all, by of all people, that dwarven Apostle of Urdual, Myrlance. Standing beside Ardelleron, he told us that Jiro was not an Apostle of Torkalath, but one of The Fallen. The abuse and tragedies that had come upon Jiro in his youth, coupled with the power and duty thrust upon him by our father god, had driven him to a madness that had allowed their insidious whispers to take his mind and him in turn to wield their power. The goddess Felewyn had thus struck him down, shattering her legendary sword in the process.

    In the Age of Rebuilding, mankind looks upon the history of Jiro, confounded. So many of us had believed that he was the one to free us from our bonds, chosen by Torkalath himself. He was, in fact, just that, for a time - but if even the gods can be deceived by The Fallen, what chance do we mere mortals have? Towards the end of the conflict, there were mobs of people hunting down priests who still supported Jiro, but with this revelation, the fervor of both the mobs and those few remaining ardents melted away. There was nothing to be done, but rebuild, for it was all so terribly beyond our control.

    Jiro, for all his evils, did fulfill that one promise, however - he did free us. Nearly two centuries later, the Kingdom of Deralia spreads across the entire Ara coastline, virtually uncontested. The frontier is being expanded both towards the inner lands and among the seas beyond, with the seal of the new kingdom adorning every banner. Melenion maybe gone, but the towering walls of Kray Eldorad, in which the elves of old dwell, let all who see them know that, however diminished in number, the elven spirit will never die. Even the dwarves, still in the process of reuniting their fragmented cities, have begun to trade freely in both kingdoms once again. The corruption of the war made dangerous wastelands of much of the space between us, my friend, but we are slowly, and surely, finding our way back to one another. This time, not as conquers, but as war weary allies, eager to share old tales.

    Your friend and confidant,
    Treasurer Elmeister Alandon

    Iumbar's Notes
    Tharic,

    Un'iel did indeed have much to tell, though whether his stories should be taken in good faith is another question entirely. I imagine after the atrocities he witnessed his mind would be given to warp, and his mannerisms certainly lend themselves there, but when his eyes glaze and he recounts his experience... Well, we can discuss more when I return.

    The roads near Irfenwiel are dangerous with the "Red Arbor" conflict, as the locals refer to it. While not a problem for me I'm hesitant to expose my companions to the finer points of traveling just yet, lest I scare them away entirely. Urdual knows we need the help. We will be lodging here in the meantime. I'm sending a copy of my raw notes (emphasis on raw) ahead via hawk to be safe. Poor thing doesn't know what it's in for.

    Regards,
    Iumpar

    Un'iel, dwarf, aged 107
    Survivor of Melanion, Wnlna Regiment 3 (The Bludded [sic])

    Well before Un'iel was aged for military eligibility, the whispers of the town were of Alu-deral, elven king and apostle of Felewyn, his extensive reach and the blood that came with. Un'iel's mother joined the regiments then, losing her life at the battle of Effath Keep, though allegedly taking "fifty, no no no, sixty o' the bastards with 'er 'n' laughin' the whole time."

    War, started and ended at the hands of Loreldians, only to be reborn just the same. Torkalath's flaying of Alu-deral should have been the end of it, but of course a return to balance would never be the goal of squabbling children.

    Come the rise of Jiro, Un'iel was but 58, still too young to enter the military. At the outset, before the war proper, the whispers turned to Jiro, the boy awash with the blood of his relative. Which of them was never clear, though it mattered not. Rumors as they were, quickly receding into other disturbing happenings in the land of the elves. None, at least in Wnlna, connected the new rumors to the boy bloody. The realm of men, attracted though they are to might and self-reliance, would have dealt with him, yes?

    Un'iel recalls that only a few months passed between the boy bloody and the slaughter of Weldar. Elves, so recently the scourge that threatened their very town, now subject to the same horrors they wrought elsewhere, apostle included. Lying about his age he joined the regiments to follow his mother and return the brief peace just lost.

    The Bludded were too late for the red fields of Salweay, though they were able to cut their teeth on the few orc scavengers that remained. Of course, this wouldn't be nearly enough to prepare them for the sinking of Adel or the Dread Knight precursor.

    Un'iel was unusually terse on their clash with the knight, but I saw horror in his eyes. Not poetically, his eyes filled with writhing black tendrils as his hands gripped the chair in fear. Once cleared he claims this is normal among the few who survive the sight, their minds and bodies forever infected by the venom of its glamour.

    Presumably it thought Un'iel was dead from the gash across his chest, for it left to meet its own fate at the hands the Child. When the waters came, Jiro's retribution, Un'iel survived by clinging to the body of one of his regiment and riding the current to what become the shore, if you can believe it.

    Tenacious as he was, he traveled to Melanion to join the army against the apostle anew. Villages passed along the way kept him updated on the war. While second or third-hand accounts are less than helpful for our purposes, they do align with Nui-dri's claim of Jiro's slaying of the apostle Idemark and the retreat of the other apostles with him.

    Un'iel reached Melanion months before the ultimate destruction. While he recovered among the armies, he learned of Jiro's apparent death, brief as it was, and his return. This is new information, at least to me. Torkalath withdrew his powers from Jiro, striking him down in the process. The more cowardly of his followers, already anxious at the temporary presence of a Loreldian, fled as he rose again amidst swirling shadows.

    In the final battle, Un'iel, due to his injuries, was relegated to guarding a canyon pass into the city to watch for flanking. As pointless as his position proved to be, it did allow him to be one of the few to witness, if you can call it that, and survive the end. While far from the fighting itself the canyon resounded with the heraldic cry of Felewyn as she entered the fray herself. Un'iel swears the following is verbatim her words as her sword rent Lor Malgoriand from this world:

    "Jiro, no more are you an apostle of life. Servant of the Lost, your hatred shall blight this land no longer. Your body to the pyre, your armies to the winds. Never to enter the soul-well, never to rest."

    This was followed by a deafening screech, "like glass being torn," and a light like a second sun.
     
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  2. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Dunno about spoiling all the books before the release ;) (Not that they can't just read them in their game folder - not like we encrypt them).

    Should explain some of the inconsistencies here... Part of it is an effort at lore revamp, though we're also aiming at each race and various isolated communities having their own take on both history and religion (at least to some degree). I suppose these more or less match up with Thoranduril's summary (which we should also get in there), though I wouldn't expect them all to do so (and Lanethan, being from the elven perspective, doesn't). Am a bit dissapoint ya didn't adopt my idea of dwarves perceiving the incident as a breaking of balance between two brothers, when one of them was slain, countered, in the end, by another two suffering the same fate in parallel, but overcoming rather than succumbing to it. True, a bit bromancy, when thrown on top of a story that's already hella bromancy.
     
  3. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    --------

    --------

    [Smiling serenely as my brain slowly melts out my ear]

    As for the dwarven perspective there's still nothing stopping that story from being written. As you reiterated, these are localized tellings that don't necessarily relate the truths of the events or the belief of them from a given race as a whole. And the story even says Iumpar's story should be taken with a grain of salt, being that he fought the dread knight
     
  4. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Not saying I won't take it! :eek: (I'll relish it, it's great!) Just was hoping ya'd like the idea enough to adapt it to said, but I guess it did not sail. Also not saying I disapprove of submitting lore to the forum - just didn't think you were gonna repost the lore you've already added to the game in the forums. It's not an issue, just seems a tad odd - though, maybe that's simply because we don't have a proper wiki to do it in (or rather, we've plenty of wikis, just haven't settled on a new official one since the last one went AWOL).

    I would keep those short newspaper articles out of the public forums though - if only because a joke's less funny when ya tell it a second time. ;)

    Though, speaking of jokes that are getting old, if you're inclined to add more books, I'd like to get this one in.
     
  5. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    I do like the premise, just felt it deserved a template that allows it to be fully fleshed-out, and don't think the raw notes were said format :wink:. I can write it up at some point (probably when I'm next waiting for a compile...), assuming you don't.

    Yeah, I hadn't planned on adding those here. Was sticking more to serious lore, though I did sneak one or two serious things in.

    I don't remember this at all, but apparently I did read it at some point... will do.
     
  6. Kanta

    Kanta Active Adventurer

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    ms_swamp
    I've been waiting for in-game books to read the lore, specifically the Lanethan.

    It's kind of a shame.
     
  7. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    Lanethan is scripted, along with these letters, the two Yhrra stories, and some semi-humorous newspapers from 3 of the towns. I'm making the final changes on the dwarven perspective for Lanethan (which has been a fun change of pace) based on Thothie's notes, and need to get it scripted along with the journal and the char recovery Easter egg.
     
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